Educational philosophy

 Philosophy

Our Philosophy is child centered and emphasises that children are unique, curious and active explorers in navigating their learning journey.  We recognise that children are knowledge bearers and can make a significant contribution to their world from a very young age.  Children’s natural curiosity is enhanced through real and practical experiences that make their learning meaningful.

We encourage children to be independent, critical and deep thinkers who are able to reflect on their thoughts, experiences and discoveries.  Our environment supports the need for children to work in a stimulating, nurturing and flexible space that allows the development of collaboration, independence and the pursuit of personal excellence.  Our environment further promotes holistic growth and maturity under the caring guidance of the teachers.

At the heart of our philosophy is a respect for all things and all people within our Methodist Christian ethos and South African heritage.

Methodology

Our methodology is the set of practices and strategies that promote the children to learn using a variety of learning styles.

We work collaboratively supported by the socio-constructivist approach whereby children and teachers are involved in dialogue with each other.

Within the Foundation Phase Curriculum, we focus on English, Mathematics and Life Skills.  Specialist subjects, interactive technology and thinking skills form part of a dynamic approach to innovation, research and learning.

Spirituality

The Junior Prep is a Christian Methodist school where we are challenged and inspired by our Saints Charter with its injunction to Honour God, Honour Others, and Honour Self.  St Stithians College lives out its Christian and Methodist character as a South African School Making a World of Difference, united and inspired by the College motto, One and All. Our Saints Character is expressed through the opportunities created for our students and staff to Know Yourself, Be Yourself, and Make Your Contribution.

At the heart of our school is the chapel which the children attend every week. The chaplain promotes spiritual growth in our children through prayer and Religious Education lessons. Pastoral care embraces a total caring for each child at the Junior Prep. Our children discover how to grow and nurture the Fruit of the Spirit in their lives and realise the importance of each quality in equipping them to show God’s love to those around us.

Academics

Our academic programme is based on both the National Curriculum of South Africa and the International Primary Framework.  Our programme embraces our rich inquiry-based curriculum whereby the latest trends and innovations of education and international best practices are implemented.

Our academic programme strives to inspire a love of education and a lifetime culture of learning.  We foreground adaptability, resilience and confidence to engage with an ever-changing world.

Children learn in a stimulating co-educational environment which encourages our boys and girls to investigate, explore, discover and express themselves. We have recognised that in preparing our boys and girls for the Boys’ Prep and Girls’ Prep environment from Grade 3 onwards, monastic elements have been introduced to the curriculum in Grade 1 and Grade 2.

Children use a variety of technological devices within the computer room and within the classroom.  Children are exposed to basic computer skills and follow a progressive Robotics and Coding curriculum within their Information Technology lessons.  Teachers integrate a variety of apps used on the IPads within the classroom.  As part of our information and interactive technology programme, our boys and girls are informed of the importance and safeguarding of their digital footprint.

In addition to our rigorous academic programme, we emphasise that cultural and sport programmes play a significant role in the overall holistic education of our students.

Leadership

At the Junior Prep the Leadership programme develops future servant leaders who are on a journey of self-discovery of their gifts and talents to appreciate good values in themselves and others. It is based on the Biblical Fruit of the Spirit namely Love, Joy, Kindness, Patience, Self-Control, Gentleness, Peace, Goodness and Faithfulness and the Round Square IDEALS of Internationalism, Democracy, Environmentalism, Adventure, Leadership and Service. Through inquiry based teaching and learning children’s higher order thinking and problem solving skills are developed. At the core of the Spirits of the Round Square IDEALS are the twelve discoveries based on attitudes, values, skills and competencies. The Leadership programme enables our children to make a significant difference to an ever-changing global world.

Community Engagement 

As a Christian school we want to build a culture that it is more “blessed to give than to receive” and fulfil the command that to ‘whom much is given, much will be expected.’ (Luke 12:48) At the Junior Prep we believe that it is important to build sustainable relationships beyond our gates. Community engagement is not only about giving and meeting physical needs but it is also around engaging with the children involved, the curriculum, and creating meaningful partnerships between our children, teachers and our wider community.

Sport

The Junior Prep sport curriculum is aligned with the College’s Long Term Athletic Development Programme approach to sport which encourages children to participate in an active life-style.  Our boys and girls play a variety of sports in a non-competitive environment which promotes sportsmanship and athletic confidence.

The Junior Prep students share the College sport facilities including the aquatic center and astro hockey fields.

 

 

 

Culture

In the Junior Prep children engage in a variety of activities that explore cultural diversity.  These include visual art projects, story writing and dramatization.  We aim to develop and nurture a love for music through singing and playing a variety of musical instruments. From Grade 1 children have the opportunity to join the Junior Prep choir.  The choir represents St Stithians College at a variety of functions and special events.